I make the distinction because Brits don't date. Not properly. We spend a series of Friday nights eyeing up some guy in a bad shirt but who seems to be laughing a lot in the pub, then one night we get drunk enough to talk to him, let him grope us on a park bench, and then seventeen years later we wake up with three kids, saggy boobs, no sex drive and his credit card debt in our name.
What we don't do is hang out, progress from coffee to dinner to movie night to intimacy.
What we DEFINITELY don't do is VALENTINES DAY, which is already is rearing it's ugly pink, sparkled head here in Michigan and it makes me want to vomit in my mouth, swallow, and then wash it down with a double hit of razor blades soaked in vodka. On the rocks.
I commented to my British friend that come V-Day, I'll be watching E! in bed with a tub of Ben and Jerry's and looking at photographs of when I was happy. I use the term liberally though, as last Valentine's Day I was in the dead-end of a six year relationship that surmounted in no card and a box of already-opened chocolates THAT I DIDN'T EVEN LIKE. In fact, my Valentines Day last year was so bad that should my life have been a made for TV movie you would have been shouting at the television for me to GET A CLUE. I would have yelled at me too. I was an idiot in denial, and eating really bad chocolate.
My British friend told me, "Look. If I haven't already sorted something out by then, I'll take you out on Valentines night." He seem surprised when I said, BITE ME.
So in an attempt to put myself out there- you know, the place where you have to be in order for irony and derision to truly kick you arse- I decided to take matters into my own questionable hands. It began with a theatre audition for a comedy the university is putting on (because yes, I WANT TO BE TINA FEY) (BUT WITH WONKY EYEBROWS).
I was performing this monologue from a play called Sun Dried by Edna Ferber, whereby a writer is having trouble with a new romance story she is writing. Namely, she doesn't seem able to get the hero to have sex with the heroine. She obviously hasn't taken him out to a British pub and fed him five pints of Guiness and a shish kebab. He would have done it with anybody then.
So I ad-lib. I say;
And I know it isn't a problem with the heroine. She is funny and smart; she is cute and full of adventure... She is British and single and only here for a semester so you could probably get her phone number after the audition if you wanted...
Yes, I put out a personal ad in the middle of an audition. No, that is not socially acceptable behaviour any more than carrying a sign that says BRITISH AND EASY might be. But do you know what? I got a callback for it.
Now if only I could get a date, too.